tv Charlie Rose PBS March 21, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight, diplo in cuba. >> i think we're writing a new language right now. in coming to cuba, since no one's done it before, we're going to figure out what we do that's great. we're going to try to learn new things. the next guys that come, there is going to be new deejays. hopefully we're one step. the next guys will do it bigger and a better job. everything we do is a learning curve. >> rose: we conclude with kamasi washington, the great jazz artist. >> jazz has been trapped in a poor image, and i think that it's been trapped in an image of something that is an his torque hic -- historic relic or something that is made to serve a purpose, to serve some other purpose other than to just enjoy. i think it's the reverse. it's such an expressive music,
and when you hear jazz, you really hear a commune of people expressing themselves together. >> rose: diplo and kamasi washington when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications >> rose: welcome to cuba. thank you. >> rose: why did you want to come? >> well, i guess the main reason is we were able to come. >> rose: right. the idea opened up to do a concert here.
we've done a lot of concerts, my group, all through the caribbean. i've always been fond of cuba. i have been here once before to see another person perform and i thought when i had the opportunity, we had to do it. we had to be the first to try to come here and do it and do some outreach with the kids here. >> rose: this is an interesting month in cuba. you, president obama, and the rolling stones. >> rolling stones are coming later, yeah. >> rose: yeah. we beat both of them. that was the goal. >> rose: you were kicking it off. >> we were the pre-party before president obama and the rolling stones. >> rose: the opening act. yeah. >> rose: you've said this is the most important show you've ever done. >> i think the pressure is on us to do something -- you know, it's kind of an amazing opportunity. i think right nowive done so many concerts, i know we have fans all through the world. this is a show we're doing free for the people. we are invited in cooperation with the government. it's a very diplomatic opportunity, i feel like, something very important, especially right now in the relationship between cuba and
america so unique for the first time in 50 years that we're able to come do something cultural as a bridge because everybody thinks everything is about politics here and it's a lot deeper. >> rose: it's more about culture. >> yeah. >> rose: and you've met young people today. where was that curiosity? >> today we spent an hour doing a press conference with young musicians and i was amazed at how specific their questions were about distribution, about sound cloud, releasing music, record labels, about mastering the music, about the sounds i use. you know, it wasn't just -- these kids were spefnlgt they're trying to do this for a living and i feel like what's amazing is that having this access to me is sort of like having access to the internet or something which they don't have easily here, so having me there to give them simple information, simple answers is huge for them. >> rose: you're a way for them to find out what they wanted to know about how music works. >> i was surprised how much they knew, how culturally aware the
kids are, considering there is a sort of blockade of culture reaching cuba, these kids are finding ways to find things themselves. >> rose: how much recognition is there? >> not much. the kids today were deejays, they study electronic music, they were aware of who i was. but a lot of the kids, the songs playing are distributed through the channels which is through usb keys and packages, but they don't know who we are, just the sounds, the music. tomorrow they will see the whole show and get the whole experience. >> rose: is that what makes electronic dance music so universal and global. >> that it's anonymous? >> rose: well, that there is a sound. >> yeah. >> rose: it's not a song, it's a sound. >> while pop relies on the people, the culture around that artist, electronic music can be made by anybody. you don't need a huge team to build you up, to build your album, your marketing plan. electronic music can be made on one computer and one hour. you can upload it to the internet.
like i told you before, it goes to the world instantly. that's what's great. it's in the hands of anybody. that's what's beautiful about electronic music. it's the sound, not who the person is. >> rose: we've talked about this also. how good a musician do you have to be? >> i'm a pretty bad musician. i think that speaks volumes. i can put things into key. i can play an instrument simply. i can find chords. i'm by no means an aficionado or great musician. i think i just find ideas first and execute them. >> rose: what is it you do? definitely coming up with the concepts and ideas. i can make music, i'm just not a great player. there are so many great guitar players, keyboard players, and i'm just a person that's able to kind of take those sounds and build something out of it. it's a whole other level to the music. >> rose: how do you define electronic dance music for people watching this conversation who don't likely
know? >> well, i think the three words are pretty simple. it's made electronically. made with the computer. you don't always have to dance. but it's created very simply. all you need to do is have one sound. you can use your iphone to record the voices, import that to your computer and create a whole keyboard and spectrum of sound with one noise. it's the most simple music. you can make it archaic. you can also make a whole symphony. you can have some of the great guys who did music concrete in france that build entire symphonies out of keyboards. herbie hancock, the symphonics of electronics. >> rose: the symphonics of electronics. >> yeah. because back in the '70s when the first synthesizers were coming into play, you heard it everywhere, prog rock, jazz, fusion, all the way to
80ssynth. the way synthesizers sound pushed music forward and people take bits and create more. >> rose: do you think electronic dance miewct will move forward. >> i think so because the people make it are young. they're the ones with the ideas that are fast. they will take chances quick than anybody else. an older man -- it's very hard to steer a big ship, but a small one you can paddle quickly and move different directions. so i think it's going to change because the people making it are very young and very excited, very literate at that music. >> rose: it's extraordinary. you think about lean on. spotify says it was the most -- >> streamed song. >> rose: -- streamed song ever. of all time. i think that particular song, it speaks volumes because it's very worldwide. you know, even in america, we're not a huge act by any means, but everywhere else in the world, from turkey, china, india, that song hit people everywhere.
>> rose: south america, jamaica. >> trinidad, mexico, brazil, wherever we go, it's a huge hit. it has a sound. it incorporates reggae, pop. the singer was danish. she came from jazz. the song is everything. it speaks to the world because it hats a caribbean influence at the same time. i think that's one important thing about our project is we have caribbean influences and rhythms that translate to the rest of the world very simple. i don't know why it's able to go everywhere like that. >> rose: yeah, but beyond the number of people that downloaded, beyond all the things happening on spotify, there is a sense that you're playing to huge crowds. >> yeah, we have -- i mean, i think we've played festivals between 20- to 100,000 people in germany, belgium, arenas. it's crazy how big the fan base is. india. >> rose: 200,000. we've headlined festivals for
that many people in germany and holland. >> rose: does that mean it's more popular outside of the united states. >> yeah, 100%. europe is the biggest market for our music. i'm not sure why that is. we just always -- i think even with our labels we always start in europe and build a brand to america. lean on was playing in four or five countries in the europe before it stard to chart top 40 in america. america hasn't had an american artist on the billboard number one chart in something like five months or something because it's been, like, adele, rihanna, justin bieber, drake. these are all people from canada and europe. america's had a drought as far as pop music's going. >> rose: why do you think that is? >> i think it has something to do with the worldwide aspect of music now. we used to be the cultural ambassadors for popular culture. we used to be the people who created it and it came into the world.
now it's coming back. the world halls had a piece of it and they're creating something more extraordinary. we're digesting that now as americans. >> rose: you record with justin bieber. >> i did. he's a great kid. he's had a great kid since he met you and had an album out and scored three number one records in america. >> rose: when you're here diewrks work with the cuban musicians? >> yesterday is one of the first times i met somebody who was a friend of mine, a rap group called the ishas who are big and had to come back. we're planning on doing music. their story is amazing. i would love to introduce you to them later on. >> rose: that would be great. your schedule is amazing. you leave here on -- >> monday morning. >> rose: monday morning at 5:00. >> 5:00 a.m. head back to americat got a show in las vegas tuesday.
then we head for a south american tour friday. before i came here, it would be the strangest routing ever. i went from islam bad to l.a. to atlanta. i don't know if anybody's ever done that. >> rose: a performance at islam bad? >> yeah, we did a show last saturday. >> rose: in pakistan. in pakistan. how much music, if people don't understand it, how would you tell them the difference between good in electronic music and great? >> i mean, it's hard. everybody has their own opinion. music affects you how it affects you. great pukes -- great music, timl tell when it lasts. i think great electronic music, people might not give it a fair chance because some people don't understand what goes into creating electronic music, what the musicianship actually is. some people think it's just, you know, a bunch of keyboards and p
button pressing. >> rose: and some people say it won't last. >> but it's been going around since the first synthesizer from ray kriswiel to donna sommers. it will be hard to go away. >> rose: for you, what do you hope to do with it? >> i feel like, you know, we're here in havana. we came from isla islamabad to e shows. these are the guys who are changing it, pakistan, india, so i'm hoping to be an ambassador for them. >> rose: there is a sense somehow it's an important time for these young cubans to feel connected to the world.
>> it's the first time they're getting connected, i feel like. earlier in the interview, they talked about the rolling stones coming. there have been a few artists that are no, si nostalgic that e here like the rolling stones. what's cool about our shows tomorrow is we're at the top of our game, young musicians, and we're coming with music popular all over the world now to cuba which doesn't happen a lot of times. they might get artists that come for nostalgic reasons. i feel it's important to bridge the gap and what's happening in cuba now, cuba can make the music as well. we're helping them create at the same time. >> rose: who's coming with you, when you come? i have a team. to come here was pretty complex. people helped me in my management. fabian puts together music havana which is a festival that's being put together. the cuban government, we had to work with some of the ambassador here. it's pretty complex and i
appreciate the huge team to make it happen and they work tirelessly. >> rose: who will be on stage. major laser. >> rose: major laser. three of us on stage. deejay, three of our dancers, and the production, the lights, videos, everything that comes into electronic music. it's very sensory. >> rose: they say what they love about electronic dance music is the concerts can go on for four hours. it has no physical limitation. >> there is also no set list. you can do whatever you want. we play some of our records, mix with some of the records we work on, remixes. >> rose: is there a play list or spontaneous? >> sometimes it depends. our show when we have the lighting cues, we have to keep it formatted to a set list but lots of times we just go off on a tangent and if the crowd wants this, i'll go that way. i'll try to push it as far as i can. that's the job of a deejay. >> rose: you have to feel where the crowd is. >> exactly. you have to guess. >> rose: does it differ when you go from country to country.
>> 100%. >> rose: islam bad is -- islam islamabad is different than jamaica. >> i play different sounds. >> rose: do you have to know their music? >> i do research every time. today i will get records and try to edit them to fit our list and throw salsa samples in there and give people little surprises. >> rose: the interesting thing about cuba, and it's true in other countries, in america, but they really celebrate artists here. >> they do. >> rose: the artists are put up on a pedestal. >> i think culture in general, cuba is a place where education is free, your healthcare is free, everything -- a lot of cuba is for the greater good of the cuban people but i think a lot of emphasis is on the
individual as well and creativity. i visit add film school here, one of the most film schools in the world is in cuba. people travel from everywhere, germany, america, to go to this film school in cuba. so i think culture is taken very seriously. it's strange, the actual stream of information that leaves and comes here is so weird what things are given to people and taken away, but they're still creators everywhere making media in cuba. >> rose: is this a long way from daytona beach? >> growing up between daytona and south florida, we have such a cuban influence in florida. the food in florida feels more cuban than in cuba. i never thought i would be here with you. that's amazing. >> rose: i didn't know i would be here with you either. when you called and said, i'm going to cuba, i thought, man, that's great. but you were the last person i thought who might call me and say i'm going to cuba. >> i think, you know, it's strange, but even when i was in islamabad, i had to do a couple of interviews with the embassy there because that's one of the
most important outlets for media, the american embassy in islam ma dad is the second most popular facebook page in all of pakistan. so i went there to interview and their job was to market america. that's what embassies do, they have a media center to help market what america does, the relationship with pakistan. it's important for me to do a couple of interviews, talk to people and share my experiences there and also bring music to kids. that's the most important thing we can do in america is to bridge the cultural gap because that's the only thing we do have a lot of capital in, what we're doing as creative people. i think that is important to have that conversation with different countries. that's what's happening in cuba and i think it's important obama is coming in i think two more weeks. that's huge. first time in 70 years. >> rose: '59 or '60. and it's important for people like us to come and to share our music and stories to the kids because those are the ones going to change the relationship.
>> rose: do you have any political conversations when you come to places like this? >> a lot. i don't understand what's happening. i'm diving into people's lives. i don't understand how kids have an opportunity to make music. can they do that for a living? what's the difference in what they choose to be? >> rose: what about the rest to have the world? >> they're really aware. a lot of kids are getting bits and pieces to the internet. they find ways to access instagram and facebook. you would be surprised how much they're aware. when the information comes, you can't stop the flow. do you understand? >> rose: back to daytona beach youhead a certain counter cultural life, didn't you? you knew people from all cultures. >> i think growing up in florida. daytona is one area, you grew up in florida, in south fort lauderdale, that's when i got interested in electronic
music. we had the same similar interests, as music changed and became more a global culture, you know, ten years ago, 15 years ago we had the opportunity to make music, major laser, and it became possible. 15 years ago, the genres were very distinct. the if you were a kid, grew up a certain way and made a certain kind of music. these kids play metallica on the radio, doing metal, still doing all kinds of music. >> rose: you're in philadelphia? >> right. >> rose: as a deejay playing a lot of events? >> i think i was a lucky guy to be at a certain time.
when i first started doing music i was selling my own mixed tapes hand to hand. you can still make a living doing that. >> rose: you would mix the tames. >> i would make edits and mix the music. i'd go to the record shop like kim's video in new york, closed down, but i used to love that. i used to sell them 100 c.d.s at a time. i'd make *6 hundred dollars. print them, 45 cents each. that was my living. i started to develop that way. i could sell the c.d.s out of my car. then people moved to the interfled. people said, he's making these albums on his own, we should try to invest in him. so people invested in what i did, other artists. it was like working a business. >> rose: what was the breakthrough? >> m.i.a. i made one mixed tape and sold it on my own and we made her a mixed tape.
it exploded for her. her deal with interscope happened from that. people gave her money to make records and that's all you want as a musician is to have access to capital to make your music. >> rose: but aren't glow a place where people real lewant to collaborate with you? enes, like with somebody like justin bieber or chris brown. >> rose: which do you prefer? both, i'm glad i can do both. if one slows down, i'm still getting better as a producer, i'm still learning every day. as deejay, i get to go places like havana and build something brand new. >> rose: how did you come up with that. >> major laser? >> rose: yes. i had an excess of music. at one point i was making a lot of music and no one was taking it. i was starting to go a certain direction and no one was getting what i was making. i said, hearings this is a great record for you.
so and so artist, lte try. this no one was taking it. i said let's do our own project and that's what major laser was. >> rose: you do have a certain reputation as a bad boy. >> i think that's funny to hear you say that. for me, when it comes to media, for a while, any publicity is good. just making noise. but i've grown up a lot over the last couple of years and i've started to let the music speak as much as i can. >> rose: let the music speak and -- >> yeah. >> rose: because an argument was made at some point that those kinds of controversies hit social media and fuels interest in you. >> kit never hurt. >> rose: a battle with taylor swift? >> that was indirectly. that was probably before i understood. i didn't even know who taylor swift was back then. i thought i would never meet her. since then, i've become a friend
with her. very strange. >> rose: you think you might one day collaborate with taylor swift? >> it's funny, i see her around and we talk sometimes but four years ago i would have never expected to meet her. >> rose: are you at a place now -- you've won grammys. you're accepted by all the music industry and you're a part of every aspect of it. >> i don't take that too seriously. i'm only here to make music. if i dabble in the pop world, maybe it's just to get something out of it, but i'm just here to make music. that's all i want to do. >> rose: what has the fame done to you, for you? >> you know, you've just got to separate your personal life from the life people perceive you as. you have to make sure there is one hand in reality and one hand in that world.
>> rose: and how much of you is a very shrewd businessman? >> luckily, i have my managers that say no to everything. i'm just the guy who will do anything. i'll say yes. i just love to work. i went from islamabad to havana for a show. they would be happier if i twos stay in las vegas or -- if i was to stay in las vegas or do a festival circuit. >> rose: but you have to do this. >> i think it's important to create something new. that's why i first started to make music, you know, we started to rent old v.f.w. halls and rented kegs and played our music. we had to find a way to do it because no one was helping us. it's important to keep the dialogues and the parties happening. that's what we're doing in havana. >> rose: being a master of your own destiny. >> yes. and making the new generation so other kids can do it. the music will be awesome in five or ten years.
>> rose: is that part of it? you are -- helping young musicians? >> 100%. when the deejaying slows down, i would love to manage artistest and help other artists make music. i'm destined to do that. >> rose: to do what? help other artists make music. >> rose: but off production company. >> we have a label and do a block party and we incubate new artists. >> rose: where to you see yourself and the music scene in five years? >> i hope i'm still doing something relevant. >> rose: how old are you now? 37. so i will be 42 five years from now. >> rose: do you think you'll not be in touch with where the music is? >> the reason i'm still doing it is i'm still excited, i'm still inspired. at some point -- you know, music is something different. if you're a writer, a writer's never, you know, they get better
every year. it's strange. the producers should, too. it is a chaotic situation. the music keeps getting crazier and crazier. can you imagine the rolling stones would expect -- >> rose: that's exactly what i was thinking. >> for hard core punk to happen and it to come screaming. i'm sure at some point they kind of found their gravity and kept it there. but you know i'm trying to go as far as i can. >> rose: but can you imagine that if you had a conversation with mick -- >> right. >> rose: -- when he was your age at 40, would he be playing and to sell out crowds in cuba and not sell out there -- i'm not sure whether theirs is free or not. >> would have to be free. >> rose: sell out crowds around the world when you're 70? >> he's a special person. that era, those records are copyrights. they're bigger than life. every rolling stone song, i
aspire to have one record like that. one record like a rolling stones song. >> rose: satisfaction. yeah, something like that. tumbling dice or beast of burden. there are so many great records and great records of their errase. it's important about the band kept growing. one person can't just do it. bowie is maybe one example. he had ten careers. >> rose: that's right, yeah. always changed. >> rose: he had performance. i think bowie probably created what we have in the modern society as far as marketing yourself and creating yourself. >> rose: he understood brand. rose: and, so, what's your brand? >> i don't know. i need your help to figure that out. i'm still working on it. i'm not as much a performer as someone like a bowie or a mick jagger, but i'm a guy trying to create new opportunities and new ideas an and blaze a trail for w
sounds. >> rose: it's interesting, when i said i'm coming to cuba to see you, nobody said who's diplo. nobody. i may know everybody who knows you, but nobody said who's dim o. thedim -- diplo. they all said, wow, what's he doing? >> the kids, how and why they know me, i'm just blessed i'm able to reach these people, even on my own and through the music doing it independently, it's a blessing. it's a blessing every day to be able to make music and do what we're doing and make a living out of it. >> rose: you get up every day and say i can't wait. >> yeah. >> rose: to do what i'm going to do this day. >> i was so bad at every other job, i'm really lucky i'm good at at least making music. >> rose: do you know why it is you're good at making music? >> i don't know. i think what we do is very post-modern. like i said, i'm not a great piano player but i'm one of the
guys agitating the culture. pushing it different directions and helping it move. >> rose: how so? i don't know. we know it's happening. it's one of matrix, i'm able to -- it's one of my tricks. it's a huge undertaking to create a project and negotiate how we'll make a sound and how we'll make a move and if you can do that, that's a big step, getting people behind you. you have to coerce a lot of people, even in music. you have to have a great team bind you and great people to help you do what you're doing. >> rose: what's the documentary you're making? >> right now, we're still developing this idea in cuba. you're going to speak with the director later but i think we're trying to capture a moment in time right before cuba is going to make a huge change. we're seeing the way these kids are interacting and getting music now because it's a special time. i think once the information starts to flow here, the music
starts to happen, it's going to be super crazy. so we'll capture a time right now where this is changing for them. >> rose: you know what's interesting, too, is my p of music, beyonce, say, theyhe are at the top because they have been open to new ideas. >> yeah. >> rose: in part. bowie is a good example. beyonce is a modern version of that. >> rose: and looking for new ideas, and the reason they're where they are is because they have accepted new ideas. but people like that are reaching out to you saying -- >> it's a special time right now. the radio, for instance, you have to have a revolutionary sound to kind of get people's attention. we've heard everything, already. two or three, four, five times. pop music is a lot different than it was five or ten years ago. you have to have something electric. you know. not just the song writing, but the way it sounds, the way it's presented, the way you're mixing
things up. people are very excited and aware. people are culturally aware. they've heard a lot of music. the fans are out there and ready for something chaotic and exciting. so artists are reaching out for producers like me or diamond, they're reaching out to us because we're giving them new information, something that's new and exciting. >> how many people in just electronic music are at the level you are? is it five of you? >> deejay-wise, probably five to attendeten deejays. >> rose: calvin harris makes more than beyonce does a year. >> and beyonce has an army. i forget what it's called. the beehive. >> rose: that's right. but you have to pay all those people. >> you do. it's expensive.
>> rose: and calvin shows up and -- >> he has a lot of good stuff, too. he's going with us this summer. there is not a lot of overhead for being a deejay. so if you can do it, you should invest in other opportunities like creating a live show or investing in your music or doing sews like here -- shows like here. important to keep pushing that brand. >> rose: do you think today, cuba is one part of it, is a moment for you? do you think in another sense that you are at a place and cuba is a reflection of it? >> right. >> rose: where you have to -- you're at maximum impact and you need to make sure that i'm throwing everything i have into it so that i can use that power to change, influence, shape, get better? >> i think we're writing a new language right now. in coming to cuba, since no one's dope it before, we're going to figure -- no one's done
it before, we'll figure out what's great. the next guys come, there will be more deejays after us. hopefully, we're one step, the next guys will do it bigger, a better job. everything we do is a learning curve. independent to make great shows, concerts and great songs. we're here because our songs have reached the people in cuba which is what i'm most excited about. we've gotten our music in cuba and people became fans. that's awesome. that's one of the most amazing things that we could ask for. >> rose: what's on your wish list? >> let's see, to go take a vacation after this, maybe. >> rose: yeah. but, i mean, you want to take electronic dance music to the far kareners of th kareners -- f the world is this. >> that's what was exciting, getting back to the roots where we're starting new scenes. i want to do more music. major laser, we're going to do another album. >> rose: the fourth. fourth album, yeah.
we opened up sort of language, a sort of style around the world, now i'm going to keep pushing those ideas forward. i'm so happy. >> rose: good to be here with you. >> yeah. >> rose: the resurgence of jazz music is being embraced by millennials and purists alike and kamasi washington is at the forefront. the "new york times" writes, with his poplar, political, uncat gorizable jazz, the jung saxaphonist has become something his genre rarely produces anymore, a celebrity. the epic is wildly ambitious. the album was met with rave reviews from both mainstream audiences and the jazz establishment. here is kamasi washington and "the next step" playing re run in our studio. ♪ ♪ ♪
♪ >> rose: i'm pleased to have kamasi washington at this table for the first time. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: to have you playing in this studio is even more impressive. >> it's beautiful, thank you. >> rose: you've said interesting things. you said jazz is like a telescope and a lot of other music is like a microscope. >> yeah, what i meant by that is jazz has a very wide spans of possibilities and sometimes you can get lost in that. one thing i learned from playing music is the importance of subtleties. and when i took that approach and applied it to the wide expanse of jazz and applied it,
>> rose: your dad introduced you to the saxophone? >> yeah, music in general. he started me playing music when i was three years old. so it's been my whole life. >> rose: is he a musician? yeah. >> rose: saxaphonist. how's that to have your father there? >> beautiful. i grew up idolizing him and his friends. i always wished other people could hear him. not just him but him and his friends and the whole sound of l.a. that was coming up -- that was around when i was coming up. >> rose: you say the beauty of the music is in the search. >> yeah, absolutely. i mean, music is -- it's never ending, you know, it's basically -- youiknow, when you're trying to create music, you're trying to re-create yourself so that when you create music, you kind of look at yourself and you end up advancing yourself in a way. >> rose: you have described writing a song as going into a dark room to look for an unexpected treasure.
yeah, because people don't realize, as a musician, we take the credit, but it comes from somewhere else. >> rose: where does it come from? >> i don't know where it comes from. but i know that, like, it's almost, like, there is -- there are melodies and sounds and ideas floating around. as a musician, when write music, i have to give myself a certain head space and it is like being in a dark room that you're very familiar with the more you tolerate music, and you start to learn where certain gems are. but you're always looking for the gem that you've never found before. so it's like you're searching around, like, i have been here before. i'm never been here. oh, wow, what is this thing? it comes to you and you take this thing and turn it into something that you can share with other people. >> rose: where is jazz in the music marketplace today? >> well, i think jazz has been trapped in in a poor image of
something that is an historic relic or something that is made to serve some other purpose other than to just enjoy, and i think it's a music that's the reverse. it's such an expressive music, and when you hear jazz, you really hear a commune of people who are expressing themselves together, and i think that that freedom, once you get into it, you really find -- you rarely find someone who says i used to be in jazz but not anymore. once you get it, it stays with you. >> rose: modern jazz's center is new york, isn't it? >> oh, yeah, new york has been the meek cay of jazz since bee bop. >> rose: in the '40s. yeah, but there is always been music from other places that fed new york. new york is the place where everyone comes and brings the music from their region and brings it to new york and lets the rest of the world hear it.
but it's always been that, you know, you have the crusaders coming from texas and you have the sound from new orleans and you had cool jazz from l.a. and the bop from philly and so many different things happening from so many different places but new york is the place where we all kind of commune and show what we do. >> rose: how close are you to keto -- kendrick lamar? >> recently. i knew terrence martin who introduced me to his music in 2008, and he told me back then that kendrick was going to be the john coltrane of hip-hop. >> rose: that's amazing. the john coltrane of hip top. >> yeah, because kendrick is such a pure artist. john coltrane's music is so pure. it's so untainted with -- i don't know, with the world.
it's really like from a different place. kendrick is, too. that's why he does stuff like go on tv and play a song and only play it that one time, you know, and not even put it out. he's a real true artist. >> rose: he was magnificent at the grammys. >> unbelievable. one of the most amazing performances i've ever seen. >> rose: you call ken kendricks album -- >> he's like what michael jackson brought to music. kendricks brought back the expression of music.
michael jackson took it to a place where it's so much about entertainment. that's beautiful. i love being entertained. but what kendrick is doing is he's bringing the entertainment along with the message and he's taking it to another level. >> rose: the interesting thing about your band is you've known most of them since you were very young. >> the first person i met in my band was ronald bruner. i was three years old and he came to my third birthday party and back then i was a drummer. i got a drum set for my third birthday party and we had a big drum battle that supposedly -- i don't know who won, but -- >> rose: but you grew up in ingle wood? >> south central l.a. i moved to englewood when i was eight years old but i always lived in south central los angeles. >> rose: at that time you were surround bid the gang culture in englewood, what we think about
in compton. >> yeah, definitely gang culture, gangs, drugs, a lot of things. but also a lot of culture. culture as far as jazz, poetry. if you didn't fall into that pressure of the negative, there was a light attend of the tunnel that you can go towards. >> rose: you named you band the next step. >> yeah. >> rose: why did you do that? well, you know, as a musician, it's a gift and a curse to be talented because what happens is when you're young you get plucked away and pulled. my friends and i grew up in high school really dreaming to do what we're doing now which is playing each other's pukes, tourin -- touringthe world plays music. in high school, the stars at that time -- snoop, chaka kahn -- >> rose: who influenced you? they all influenced me in different ways. you know, snoop -- i learned different things at different
times from different people. it seemed very destined in a way. >> rose: this is the epic, the new album. >> yeah. >> rose: how long is it? 172 minutes. yeah, yeah. >> rose: that's almost three hours. >> yeah. yeah. it was an adventure. all those guys i'm playing with, they recorded albums as well and we spent a whole month just recording with eachouter. >> rose: volume 1 is the man, volume 2 glorious tale, volume 3 is the historic repetition. >> yeah, all different times of my life. plan represents a time period right out of high school for me where i thought i was going to come out of high school and be a jazz musician and start playing jazz clubs and touring in jazz. i ended up going on the road with snoop. that's where the glorious tale
comes in, life doesn't always go the way you want it, but if you look at it from the right perspective, it's what you may have needed. the historic repetition is listening to my dad and not falling into the traps they fell into when they were my age. >> rose: the brand is a triple tryo. >> two rhythm sections and a horn section, so, yeah. >> rose: it's great to see you and hear the band and to take a look at this album. >> oh, thank you. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪ ♪ ♪
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